The health ministry said Israel has confirmed a case of a subtype of the delta strain of coronavirus previously reported in some European countries.
“Variant AY 4.2, which has been traced to several countries in Europe, has been identified in Israel,” a ministry statement said late Tuesday.
The carrier, an 11-year-old boy arriving from Europe, was identified at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, the ministry said. The ministry said the boy was quarantined and no further contact has been found.
Prohibit. 4.2. The variant has appeared several times in the United Kingdom.
François Balloux, Professor of Computational Systems Biology at University College London, told AFP that the subvariant is rare and does not pose the same risk of significantly increased transmission as other strains.
The variant was discovered as Israel considers loosening restrictions on tourism following a drop in cases.
An earlier plan to reopen established borders amid a surge in cases driven by the Delta strain.
In late August and early September, new cases topped 11,000 a day.
Officials launched an aggressive campaign to vaccinate citizens with a third, booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which reduced infections.
On Wednesday, the authorities reported 1,487 new cases in the last 24 hours.
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